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  1. #1
    Established Member Two Rings JohnnyTooBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 14 2009
    AZ Member #
    46412
    Location
    NoVA

    Center console latch fix

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    When I bought my car last week, the latch/lever/handle for the center console was broken. When I took it apart, I found that one of the pins was broken off. In the process of removing it, I broke the other one off, which had been hanging by a thread. I tried some epoxy to fix them, but on of them wouldn't hold, so I set upon a mission of making my own.

    Here's the result. The only hiccup is that the piece of spring metal that keeps the lever pushed down, I set it at the wrong angle and it's a bit tight, so it won't latch just by dropping the lid. You have to pull on the lever to make it close all the way.

    It's polished aluminum. I did it all by hand and on a 6" grinder/buffing wheel and a band saw, so it doesn't look machine made/mass produced. Oh well. It's 2 pieces that are epoxied together. I used 8d common nails for the hinge pins, and JB Weld Steel Stick to hold the spring. I had to cut away a little bit of the inside cover of the lid to make it fit nice and clean, but as you can see, you can't tell. This sucker won't break. If anything happens, it'll be the epoxy not holding to the aluminum, but I scored it up really well before I epoxied it, so it should hold forever
    Attached Images
    (DEAD) 2006 B7 A4 Avant 2.0T. Blue/Tan, Auto. 100% Stock, except for some window tint
    Replaced with a unicorn.... 2011 A6 Avant 3.0T, also Blue/Tan. Premium Plus, S-Line, Cold Weather Package.

  2. #2
    That looks better than original. My latch is also hanging on by a thread. U should make those and sell them. I would be interested in buying one.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings JohnnyTooBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 14 2009
    AZ Member #
    46412
    Location
    NoVA

    Ha! Thanks. I made it out of scraps I had laying around. While the materials might be cheap, the amount of effort it took would make them way too expensive.
    (DEAD) 2006 B7 A4 Avant 2.0T. Blue/Tan, Auto. 100% Stock, except for some window tint
    Replaced with a unicorn.... 2011 A6 Avant 3.0T, also Blue/Tan. Premium Plus, S-Line, Cold Weather Package.

  4. #4
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 04 2018
    AZ Member #
    415001
    Location
    Virginia

    That is really creative. I'm afraid to ask how many hours this took to make. You could have purchased a new plastic one on eBay for $6 like I did.

  5. #5
    Established Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Feb 15 2018
    AZ Member #
    414102
    Location
    Vancouver, WA

    Quote Originally Posted by akingzkid View Post
    That is really creative. I'm afraid to ask how many hours this took to make. You could have purchased a new plastic one on eBay for $6 like I did.
    Can you link? I've been looking for one

    If I can buy a metal one that would be bettsr

  6. #6
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Mar 04 2018
    AZ Member #
    415001
    Location
    Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by NickLim View Post
    Can you link? I've been looking for one

    If I can buy a metal one that would be bettsr
    I found 2 on eBay. Both are from China though so it will take a while. Link below.
    Any junkyards near you where you can go snag one?

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F173019590996

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings JohnnyTooBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 14 2009
    AZ Member #
    46412
    Location
    NoVA

    It actually didn't take long at all to build. I spent a lot longer polishing the aluminum than I did fabricating the thing. It's made of two pieces of aluminum. The main, big flat piece that you touch, which is just cut to shape and polished. The other piece is a thinner piece of aluminum, where I made a pattern by tracing a piece of paper on the original one, laying it flat on the aluminum and tracing the pattern on it. Then, you have to bend both ends at 90 deg, and drill holes for the hinge pins. The hing pins are 8d common framing nails, cut to length, and I ground the heads down to where they were very thin, because if they are too thick, they won't fit between 2 pieces of plastic on the bottom of the lid.

    Then, I cut 2 pieces of thin steel (thin enough to cut with tin snips), bent them at 90 degrees and scored the hell out of them on all sides and even drilled some holes in them, and scored both pieces of aluminum where they touch. These just act as gluing surface (corner brackets) to bond the two pieces of aluminum together. I used a 2-part epoxy to bond them, as well as to hold the hinge pins in the holes.

    To attach the spring steel, which just pulls out of the original latch, I simply suck a bit of JB Weld Steel Stick in there and pushed the spring steel into it.

    I'm considering pulling it back out and adjusting the spring steel by bending it more, so that it makes better contact with the plastic that it pushes against, but I'd also cut some of the sides off of it to make it less stiff, and give it a springier feel. If I do this, I'll also thin out the main plate that you touch, where it engages with the bottom half of the center console, so that it can catch on its own easier, without having to squeeze the lever to get it latched.

    Note that I have a band saw to cut the aluminum, a 6" grinding wheel/polisher to grind and polish the aluminum and grind the nail heads down, and a dremmel tool used to cut the nails, but a hack saw would work fine. Those, a flat file and a drill are all the tools I used.

    Build time, not including polishing was probably an hour. The bracket with the hinge pins got redone once because the first time, I made it too long.
    (DEAD) 2006 B7 A4 Avant 2.0T. Blue/Tan, Auto. 100% Stock, except for some window tint
    Replaced with a unicorn.... 2011 A6 Avant 3.0T, also Blue/Tan. Premium Plus, S-Line, Cold Weather Package.



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